California cyber sex chat
Law enforcement authorities investigating the emails soon realized that the threatening communications were part of a larger series of crimes.Mijangos, they discovered, had tricked scores of women and teenage girls into downloading malware onto their computers.The malware Mijangos wrote was sophisticated, and he told federal authorities that he designed it specifically to be undetectable to antivirus programs.He then, according to court documents, “used [those] intimate images or videos of female victims he stole or captured to ‘sextort’ those victims, threatening to post those images or videos on the Internet unless the victims provided more.” Mijangos’s threats were not idle.Teenagers and young adults don’t use strong passwords or two-step verification, as a general rule. They sometimes record pornographic or semi-pornographic images or videos of themselves.And they share material with other teenagers whose cyberdefense practices are even laxer than their own.In at least one case, he posted nude photos of a victim on the Myspace account of a friend of the victim, which Mijangos had also hacked, after she refused to comply with his demands.To make matters worse, Mijangos also used the computers he controlled to spread his malware further, propagating to the people in his victims’ address books instant messages that appeared to come from friends and thereby inducing new victims to download his malware.
The average teenage or young-adult Internet user, however, is the very softest of cybersecurity targets.
As defined in the Mijangos court documents, sextortion is “a form of extortion and/or blackmail” wherein “the item or service requested/demanded is the performance of a sexual act.” The crime takes a number of different forms, and it gets prosecuted under a number of different statutes.
Sometimes it involves hacking people’s computers to acquire images then used to extort more.
Sextortion thus turns out to be quite easy to accomplish in a target-rich environment that often does not require more than malicious guile.
It is a great mistake, however, to confuse sextortion with consensual sexting or other online teenage flirtations. It is also a crime that, as we shall show, does not currently exist in either federal law or the laws of the states.
For the first time in the history of the world, the global connectivity of the Internet means that you don’t have to be in the same country as someone to sexually menace that person.